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Meet the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s New Principal Cellist, Blaise Déjardin

It’s rare that at CelloBello we have contributors undergoing major professional shifts, so we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the recent Boston Symphony Orchestra Principal audition that was won by Blaise Déjardin, a long-time CB blogger. For our readers, we wanted to bring light to Blaise’s motivations, aspirations, and perceptions of the audition process, directly from him to you. Thank you for your candidness, Blaise!   Blogmaster: Why did you decide to audition for the principal chair? Blaise: There are many reasons, but I think the biggest is that I saw it as an opportunity for growth. After 10 years in the section, of exploring and trying to improve, this seemed like a great chance to keep doing that and to keep challenging myself. So, I thought it [...]

What “Posture” Looks Like on the Inside — by Vanessa Mulvey

The perfect posture can feel like an illusive goal. It has the power to empower the performer and fuel expression or it can limit every aspect of a performance.  What is “posture” and how can it be perfect? The problem is that posture is often assessed by one’s appearance as they sit and play. This is far from a perfect or repeatable science. I offer you another way to understand and assess posture, and that is from inside the body.  From the inside, we can utilize the body’s amazing design for being upright and for movement. Forget Posture The first thing I want to do is remove ‘posture’ for your musical vocabulary.  Why you ask? According to dictionary.com, the definition of posture is “the position of the limbs or the carriage of the body as a whole.” Playing the cello or any [...]

By |2018-07-10T05:40:07+00:00March 21st, 2018|Categories: Self Discovery, Beyond the Traditional, Playing Healthy|Tags: , , , , , |

My First Lessons with Gregor Piatigorsky — by Paul Katz

In 1961, Jascha Heifetz, Gregor Piatigorsky and William Primrose joined the faculty of the University of Southern California where I was a cello student studying with the highly inspiring Gabor Rejto. As fate would have it, Rejto was leaving on sabbatical that year and so I auditioned for Piatigorsky and was admitted to his first class at USC. Two amazing years with him followed—he was truly a creative genius, a great psychologist, and a supportive father figure that cared deeply about everyone that he taught. We were a new class of students, however, and  as we entered the room that first day, none of us knew what to expect: Excited that I was going to be studying with the 'Great Grisha,'  I bought a new short-sleeved, bright orange shirt for this special occasion. Made from [...]

By |2018-07-18T05:50:04+00:00January 24th, 2018|Categories: Interpersonal Relationships, CelloFun|Tags: , , , |

The CelloBello Fund Drive is Here!

Dear CelloBello Friends, It’s that time of year again! We’re so excited that we got to kick off our yearly fund-drive yesterday with a special live-streamed masterclass with our founder Paul Katz (see it again here)! We are thrilled and proud of the projects and milestones we have achieved in 2017: unveiling our new and improved website, hitting over one million views on our YouTube channel, the success of our month-long Bach Celebration which included our first livestreamed performance from Amsterdam by Pieter Wispelwey (see it again here), not to mention our wide spread of CelloChats, blogs and masterclasses from coast to coast! Please stay tuned for a special announcement about our 2018 projects…. Our fund-drive is critical and important for us here at CelloBello. It’s your contributions, regardless of [...]

By |2017-12-29T03:22:21+00:00December 12th, 2017|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Yamaha Welcomes String Players Jacob Szekely, Mike Block and Charley Sabatino to the Yamaha Artist Family

INDIANAPOLIS (October 12, 2017) — Yamaha Artist Services is pleased to announce the addition of cellists Jacob Szekely and Mike Block and bassist Charley Sabatino to the Yamaha Artist family. All three are fulfilling their creative musical visions using Yamaha electric string instruments. Szekely, a cellist, is one of the most active and influential musicians in the creative string community in Los Angeles, which focuses on playing styles that involve improvisation. Block, a Juilliard graduate who lives in Boston, is a longtime member of Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and is heavily into the electric cello for his compositional work. Sabatino, a seasoned jazz bassist, plays a diverse range of gigs and styles and is based in New York City. Both Szekely and Block play the Yamaha SVC-210sk Silent [...]

By |2017-10-25T03:11:26+00:00October 25th, 2017|Categories: News|

Welcome to CelloBello’s Back to School Week Celebration!

Hello CelloBello Fans! With school back in full swing, we're excited to officially kick off the fall season here at CelloBello! Stay tuned for a packed week of new and original CelloBello releases: Monday: an exclusive masterclass with Yo-Yo Ma on the Elgar Concerto, Mvts. 3 &4 Tuesday: a new blog from Michael Haber, "Practicing, Some Practical Advice" (Part 1) Wednesday: two new CelloLessons from CelloBello's founder Paul Katz, "Eliminate Left Hand Tension" Thursday: Part 2 of Michael Haber's "Practicing, Some Practical Advice" Friday: an interview with Alisa Weilerstein, "The Psychology of Sound Production" Enjoy!

By |2017-09-20T12:48:00+00:00September 19th, 2017|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

The Fall 2017 CelloChat Schedule is Here!

  Hello CelloBello Followers! We're excited to announce our Fall 2017 CelloChat lineup. Join us starting October 1st via Facebook Live on the CelloBello Facebook page. All Chats take place at 8 PM ET unless otherwise noted. Stay tuned for updates!   October 1 & 8 NORMAN FISCHER The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University October 15 PAUL KATZ New England Conservatory  October 22 ASTRID SCHWEEN Juilliard Quartet, The Juilliard School October 29 GREGORY BEAVER Chiara Quartet, University of Nebraska-Lincoln November 5 ASTRID SCHWEEN Juilliard Quartet, The Juilliard School November 12 JEFFREY ZEIGLER Mannes College at The New School November 19 YEESUN KIM Borromeo String Quartet, New England Conservatory December 3 LAURENCE LESSER New England Conservatory  December 10 LLUIS CLARET New England Conservatory  December 17 AMIT PELED Tempest Trio, Peabody Conservatory of Music  

By |2017-09-21T02:27:48+00:00August 16th, 2017|Categories: News|

Top Cellist Steven Isserlis Prevented from Boarding Flight with Cello

Reposted from Classic FM. A nightmare mix-up at the check-in desk meant that Steven Isserlis (and his cello) completely missed his flight—the last one that day… Last night, British cellist Steven Isserlis joined the growing list of cellists and other instrumentalists who have had problems checking in their instruments onto flights:   Isserlis shared the whole nightmare story on his Facebook page, from the first heart-sinking moments of doubt "Have you paid for the cello seat?" to the dash across Heathrow to catch an alternative flight to a different city entirely. Here's the story in all its painful detail [retrieved from Mr. Isserlis' Facebook page]: "My latest adventure - courtesy of KLM... Now, I’d been planning to present another musical rant in the near future, and was already vaguely planning it [...]

By |2017-09-15T02:09:24+00:00July 19th, 2017|Categories: News, Cello Travel|Tags: , , , |

Conquering Coordination Through Broken-Rhythm Patterns — by Grigory Kalinovsky

Reposted from Strings Magazine. One of the most common problems encountered by string players in virtuoso pieces is the coordination between the bow strokes and the left-hand fingers in fast running-note passages (passages consisting of mostly the same note values), especially when the majority of notes are played with separate bows or with a few small slurs thrown in. Examples of these types of passages abound—they include sections from the Finale movement of Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto in D minor, several episodes and the entire coda section of Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso by Saint-Saens, the majority of the Allegro movement from Kreisler’s Preludium and Allegro, and many, many other pieces. Without proper coordination training, playing these passages can create a feeling of the two hands “chasing each other”—and getting tangled up [...]

By |2018-07-18T06:01:32+00:00June 14th, 2017|Categories: In the Practice Room, Self Discovery|Tags: , , |

Cellist Jeremy Tai Wins Irving M. Klein International String Competition 2017

Reposted from The Strad. The 18-year-old Bienen School of Music student receives the top prize of $13,000 and concert engagements Cellist Jeremy Tai has won first prize at the 32nd Annual Irving M. Klein International String Competition, held at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The 18-year-old California native, who is currently studying with Hans Jørgen Jensen at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, received the top prize of $13,000 and concert engagements for his final round performance of Lisa Bielawa’s Insomnia Etude #3, and works of Grieg and Prokofiev. Second prize, worth $5,500, went to 20-year-old violist Zhanbo Zheng, while third prize, worth $2,500, went to 20-year-old violinist Kyumin Park. This year’s winners were whittled down from 99 applicants from 13 countries, aged between 15 and 23, by [...]

By |2017-10-30T04:19:41+00:00June 7th, 2017|Categories: News, Competition|Tags: , |

Pacifica Quartet Announces First Personnel Change in 17 Years

Reposted from The Violin Channel. The Pacifica Quartet has announced 2nd violinist Sibbi Bernhardsson and violist Masumi Per Rostad are set to leave the ensemble. The Indiana-based Pacifica String Quartet has today announced that 2nd violinist Sibbi Bernhardsson and violist Masumi Per Rostad are set to leave the ensemble at the end of the current season—the group’s first member change in seventeen years. Sibbi, who joined the quartet in 2000, is set to take up a teaching position on faculty at the Oberlin Conservatory School of Music. Masumi, who joined the ensemble in 2001, was last month appointed to the teaching faculty of the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. “Over the past 17 years, the Pacifica Quartet has played nearly 1500 concerts all over the world  … [...]

French Cellist Victor Julien-Laferrière Wins Queen Elisabeth Competition 2017

Reposted from The Strad. "Victor Julien-Laferrière has this evening been named the winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition 2017. The 26-year-old French cellist triumphed in finals, held throughout this week in Brussels’ Palais des Beux Arts, performing the compulsory commission by Toshio Hosokawa and Shostakovich’s First Cello Concerto with the Brussels Philharmonic conducted by Stéphane Denève. He receives a grand prize of €25,000 and concert opportunities. Second prize, worth €20,000, was awarded to 22-year-old Japanese cellist Yuya Okamoto, while third prize, worth €17,000 went to 22-year-old Colombian cellist Santiago Cañón-Valencia. 22-year-old Aurélien Pascal from France, 25-year-old Ivan Karizna from Belarus and 22-year-old Brannon Cho from the US received the €12,000 fourth prize, €10,000 fifth prize and €8,000 sixth prize respectively. The remaining six unranked finalists—Sihao He, Seungmin Kang, Maciej Kułakowski, JeongHyoun Christine Lee, Yan Levionnois and Bruno Philippe—each received [...]

By |2017-07-19T04:36:26+00:00June 4th, 2017|Categories: News, Competition|Tags: |

An Interview with Paul Katz on “Talent Has Hunger”

Talent Has Hunger is an inspiring film about the power of music to consume, enhance, and propel lives. Filmed over 7 years, the documentary offers a window into the mysterious world of the artist, and focuses on the challenges of guiding gifted young people through the struggles of mastering the cello. The film features the mentorship of master teacher Paul Katz, the founder of CelloBello. He joined our website blogmaster, Francesca McNeeley, for an interview to discuss the film and its impact: For people who may not realize the connection between this film and CelloBello, would you mind briefly talking about their shared history? About 10 years ago there was a cellist who went to Harvard and did her doctoral dissertation in legacy and mentoring; she made myself and my class the subject [...]

By |2017-06-14T02:46:03+00:00May 12th, 2017|Categories: News, Performance|Tags: |

Cellist Taeguk Mun wins $25,000 János Starker Foundation Award

Reprinted from The Strad 12/14/2016 South Korean cellist Taeguk Mun has won the János Starker Foundation Award, worth $25,000. Granted to cellists under the age of 30 ‘who have already begun a significant career in music’, the prize was created in memory of legendary Hungarian-American cellist and pedagogue János Starker, who died in April 2013 at the age of 88. Candidates submit an unedited video recording of six works, representing Pre-Classical, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century and Contemporary eras of Western music. A former Juilliard School student, Mun is currently a pupil of Laurence Lesser at the New England Conservatory in Boston. He won the Pablo Casals International Cello Competition in 2014, and the Andre Navarra International Cello Competition in 2011.

By |2017-10-30T04:28:29+00:00December 14th, 2016|Categories: News, Janos Starker, Competition|Tags: , , , , , |

Conversation with Mstislav Rostropovich

Reprinted from Internet Cello Society 11-29-2016 By Tim Janof 4-6-2006 TJ: When you burst onto the music scene, people were struck by your white hot performances. Your sound was strong and your vibrato was wide, which was a striking contrast to your predecessors. Where did your unique concept of sound come from? MR: Let me give you a little background first. My family lived in two-room apartment in Baku until I was seven years old. My mother was a pianist and my father was a cellist who had worked with Casals. There is a picture of me sleeping inside my father's cello case when I was four months old. My first instrument was the piano, which was my first love. To this day, when I am learning a new cello [...]